Warne defies critics

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Shane Warne

Shane Warne with the spoils of victory © Getty Images

Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne answered his critics in style with a brilliant display to claim incredible figures of 27-11-29-4 on the final day of the second Test as England slumped to 129 all out.

Those efforts left Australia with a victory target of 168 in 36 overs, which they reached with 19 balls of the match remaining to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

It was a stunning display and Warne, who claimed 40 wickets but finished on the losing side in the 2005 Ashes series, said: “I don’t think I can bowl any better than I did today. I don’t think I bowled too much garbage - I probably bowled half a dozen bad balls.

“If I can bowl like that for the rest of the series then hopefully I might cause a few of Duncan Fletcher’s boys a bit more trouble.”

Warne was delighted to play such a big part in Australia’s stunning turnaround and significant advantage in the series.

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“It was spinning and bouncing a bit out there, but you still had to land it on the right spot because if you didn’t they have enough good players to hit boundaries,” he said.

“We wanted to bowl England out and to achieve that was fantastic by the whole side.

“I love being in those situations - I have done during my whole career. I don’t know why, but I just perform better in those situations than others.

“I find something inside me that keeps me going. I knew I had to take the majority of the wickets as a spinner because the conditions demanded that.”

Australia captain Ricky Ponting claimed the victory was one of the best of his career and that it was a triumph for the belief in their dressing room.

Shane Warne

Shane Warne flights another delivery © Getty Images

“There was no doubt we were a long way behind after day two but we spoke about lots of different things and we all thought we had a chance of winning the Test match,” Ponting explained.

“We had a lot of hard work to do to achieve that, but we’ve done that and we’ve ended up winning the game. It’s one of the all-time great Test wins as far as I’m concerned.

“We’ve seen enough games of Test cricket to know you have to do something exceptionally well to be able to turn the course of a Test match around that way.

“Our cricket over the last three days has been as good Test match cricket as you will ever see from any team - that’s why I said it’s the greatest Test win I’ve known.”

Ponting also praised the display of Warne, who bowled unchanged from the Cathedral End of the Adelaide Oval.

“If there’s a game on the line then you just won’t get the ball out of Warney’s hand,” Ponting said.

“He just keeps lifting himself and getting himself up.

“He wants to bowl at the best players and wants to be the man that gets those players out. He stood up again and I said to him after the game that he’s changed the course of this Test match and could even be the summer with that spell of bowling today.

“If you look at what Shane did, bowling 27 overs for 29 runs with four wickets thrown in, there’s a lot of skill and a lot of hard work goes in to doing that.

“If that hadn’t been the case and he had gone for 70 or 80 runs off those overs then we probably can’t win the game.”